QENA, Egypt –19th December 2018

The Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities represented by the General Organization for Physical Planning (GOPP) and the Governorate of Qena have launched together with UN Habitat Egypt Office and the Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt the “Hayenna Integrated Urban Development project”.

Hayenna project aims at enhancing urban development in Egypt through piloting innovative approaches related to urban planning and design, municipal finance and local economic development as well as the development of a number of recommendations for urban policies and legislation. The overall objective of the project is the development of a more transparent, efficient and sustainable methodology for land management as well as a participatory approach to the planning and implementation of infrastructure projects and the increase of local revenues as well as the more efficient public financial management.

The project, which will be running until 2023, is valued USD11.8 Million, with a contribution of USD8.1 Million by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and USD3.5 Million by the Egyptian government. The project is one of the biggest and most important projects of UN Habitat Egypt Office’s portfolio.

The projects includes pilot projects in two governorates, the first of them Qena Governorate whereas the second will be selected during the first year of the project after consulting all participating partners. In Qena, two sites have been selected, one of them a city extension area and the other one an unplanned inner city area, each 100 feddan in size. The project will also implement some of the infrastructure projects that are indicated in the detailed plan for Qena governorate for the areas that are part of the project.

During the launching event, Mrs Corinne Henchoz Pignani, Head of the Office for International Cooperation of the Swiss Embassy in Egypt on behalf of  Paul Garnier, Ambassador of Switzerland in Egypt, Eng. Alaa Abdelfatah, Head of the Central Administration for Planning Regions and national project manager of the project, Mrs Iman Radwan, Senior Programme Officer at the Swiss Embassy, Mrs Rania Hedeya, Country Director of the UN Habitat Egypt Office, Nihal El Megharbel, Programme Manager of the Urban Governance, Legislation and Policy Programme (UN-Habitat) and Bassem Fahmy, Programme Manager of Strategic Planning and Urban Design Programme (UN-Habitat) participated.

It is worth mentioning that the project agreements, including the project document, were signed by the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in April 2018, and the separate agreement which was signed by the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Human Settlements Program in November 2018, whereas Dr Assem El Gazzar explained that the activities of the project are part of the implementation of the "National Strategic Plan 2052" and the "Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030" to achieve sustainable and balanced regional development, support the development of the local economy in the extension as well as in unplanned, and to provide decent and productive jobs opportunities. Qena governorate has been chosen as one of the pilot governorates for the implementation of the project since it is one of the priority governorates in the region of South Upper Egypt. El Gazzar also pointed to the Egyptian government's contribution of USD3.5 Million from the state budget as part of the State's socio-economic development plan.